A former Accrington Stanley apprentice has told of how he turned initial disappointment into a new dream career path.

Kasom Shah, 22, enrolled at Burnley College University (BCUC) when he needed a ‘Plan B’ after experiencing setbacks to his dream of playing professional football.    The former Blessed Trinity RC College pupil has recently graduated with First Class Honours in BSc Sport and Exercise, and now works full time inspiring the next generation of stars as a Sports Tutor with the Accrington Stanley Football in the Community Trust.

Kasom said: “Through the course, I had the opportunity to deliver coaching sessions with local schools and sports groups, which really helped me to realise which areas of sport I want to focus on.

“BCUC has a new sports complex and offers an Elite Athlete Programme with weekly training sessions and support from former professional coaches and sports scientists – including British Cycling.

“I hadn’t even thought about coaching before enrolling at BCUC but the course, and support from my tutors, really opened my eyes to a new world outside of playing professional football.”

Kasom was eager to balance studying with playing semi-professional football for Barnoldswick Town FC and his part-time job at River Island in Burnley.    Kas added: “I knew I wanted to do something within sport, but I just didn’t know where to start. I looked at lots of different universities but decided I wanted to stay close to home. “I found the course on BCUC’s website, rang through and ended up going for a chat with one of the course tutors on the same day. The first step is often the hardest but imagine what could you achieve with the right support.”

Alongside Kas, four BCUC graduates are sharing their experiences of returning to education to encourage others to embrace the power of “What If?” with Burnley College University Courses.